The CIA ignored credible information that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and, instead, followed the Bush Administration’s lead to provide fabricated intelligence that was used to justify invasion of the Mideast country, a new book report.
The book on the government’s secret anti-terrorism operations
describes how the CIA recruited an Iraqi-American anesthesiologist in
2002 to obtain information from her brother, who was a figure in Saddam
Hussein’s nuclear program.
Dr. Sawsan Alhaddad of Cleveland made
the dangerous trip to Iraq on the CIA’s behalf. The book said her
brother was stunned by her questions about the nuclear program because — he said — it had been dead for a decade.
New York Times
reporter James Risen uses the anecdote to illustrate how the CIA
ignored information that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass
destruction. His book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and
the Bush Administration describes secret operations of the Bush
administration’s war on terrorism.
The major revelation in the
book has already been the subject of extensive reporting by Risen’s
newspaper: the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping of Americans’
conversations without obtaining warrants from a special court.
book said Dr. Alhaddad flew home in mid-September 2002 and had a series
of meetings with CIA analysts. She relayed her brother’s information
that there was no nuclear program.
A CIA operative later told Dr.
Alhaddad’s husband that the agency believed her brother was lying. In
all, the book says, some 30 family members of Iraqis made trips to
their native country to contact Iraqi weapons scientists, and all of
them reported that the programs had been abandoned.
2002, a month after the doctor’s trip to Baghdad, the U.S intelligence
community issued a National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iraq
was reconstituting its nuclear program.
In the book, which quotes
extensively from anonymous sources, Risen said the NSA spying program
was launched in 2002 after the CIA began to capture high-ranking
al-Qaida operatives overseas, and took their computers, cell phones and
personal phone directories.
The CIA turned the telephone numbers
and e-mail addresses from the material over to the NSA, which then
began monitoring the phone numbers _ in addition to anyone in contact
with the telephone subscribers, the book said, saying this led to an
expansion of the monitoring, both overseas and in the United States.
book said the NSA does not need approval from the White House, the
Justice Department or anyone else in the Bush administration before it
begins eavesdropping on a specific phone line in the United States.
another chapter on a “rogue operation,” the book said a CIA officer
mistakenly sent one of its Iranian agents information that could be
used to identify virtually every spy the agency had in Iran. The book
said the Iranian was a double agent who turned over the data to Iranian
The book said the information severely
damaged the CIA’s Iranian network, and quoted CIA sources as saying
several of the U.S. agents were arrested and jailed.